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Rhia’s Corner

                             August 2005

By Rhiannon Waits

“Drama! We use to call it life!”




Life from the beginning of time has had its rise and falls. Today many describe anything negative happening in a person’s life as drama. They can no longer differentiate the difference between life’s problems and drama.

            I recently had a couple come to me to discuss a problem they had in their relationship. It seemed that anything that happened in her life or with her kids was considered drama and he did not want to hear it. Her daily work problems, family problems or personal problems were not to be discussed in his presence.

            When listening to him, he excused himself by saying that he was stressed out and taking measures to ensure his life was DRAMA free. He said that her life was filled with it and it was draining him. He seemed rather put out that he was having to discuss it. At this point, I thought it must be nice not to have any problems.

            I then asked the woman the types of problems that were cropping up in her life. Even though it did seem she had numerous problems none seemed to be more than what I considered life with children. None of these seemed really be classified as drama but as life. To be more exact I will word it as the vicissitudes of life. She had an adult daughter that was giving them problems and getting a divorce. Also a 28 year old son, which wanted this couple to move close to his family. She had teenage twins that were 15 years old and going

            I asked the woman what types of problems she handled of his. She begins to list many times she counseled with his children or listened to their problems. She added she loved them though so it was not a problem. He discussed his sibling’s problems with her because they called on a daily basis with their problems real or imagined. He had problems with friends of his and was not happy with the way they had acted in the friendship. She had met them through him and had known them 2 years of the 35 year friendship. She made sure to say that she had become friends and maybe that had hampered their friendship. She would listen while he talked about problems at work, with people, and how he planned to leave it all to live on a tropical island somewhere.

            Obviously, they both had many of life’s problems bombarding them at once but only one of the two seemed willing to be there for the other one. The man seemed to avoid his duties as a friend and a mate by classifying her problems as dramas and his as manageable occurrences in life. Even though it was evident that he had shirked the courtesy of giving what he was taking in the relationship, he became annoyed instead of apologetic. We had uncovered the true problem, which was hidden by the guise of drama.

            Today’s world has recklessly described any problem they do not wish to hear as drama. Anything bringing about discomfort can be labeled drama. Since this word is viewed as a very undesirable trait with reason to discontinue relationships, everyone runs from the word. They draw in a knot afraid if they have a problem, someone will accuse them of having drama in their life. The very word is so over used! Let us look at the definition of the word as defined by MSN Encarta.

 1. theater performed play: a serious play written for performance on stage, television, or radio

2. arts plays as genre: works written for performance on the stage, television, or radio considered as a literary genre17th-century French drama

3. theater producing or performing plays: the performance, production, or writing of plays considered as a job, activity, or subject to be studied

4. exciting event: a real-life event or situation that is particularly exciting or emotionally involving the drama of the trapped climbers

5. dramatic events or quality: exciting, tense, and gripping events and actions, or an exciting, tense, and gripping quality, either in a work of art or in a real-life situation

an evening full of drama [Early 16th century. Via late Latin < Greek, "play, deed" < dran "do"] Copied from MSN Encarta

            After looking across the definition of this word, try to compare it to the context in which you have heard it applied. I have seen many a person make a grandiose display of a small problem. Whenever you find someone who has this trait, you often feel you are at the grand opening of a play. Jeff Foxworthy might call this “Making a mountain out of a mole hill”. Presenting a situation in such a manner that it could be made into a mini series or a “soap box opera” could be called drama. A young teenage girl that elaborates over the problem of deciding to wear the pumps instead of the sandals could be called a “teenage drama queen”.

            Yet whenever you use the word drama to escape the unpleasant side of being a friend or partner realize what you are doing. Do not use a word or a phrase to mask your selfishness or shortcomings. In this book, you will find another reference to drama. It is extremely important to differentiate between the true meaning and the grossly misused implication. As in the case of the couple mentioned before, it was used so the man did not have to contribute the same courtesies extended to him by his mate. He used the threat of “Leaving the problems (hence her drama) and living on a deserted island” as a threat of alienation if he become too stressed. The dreaded word “Drama was used to describe the heartache life’s problems had inflicted upon his companion. This would keep him from having to deal with give and take of a true functional relationship.

            Avoid at all cost the pitfalls of becoming selfish in any relationship. Life has its ups and downs, its good and bad, its problems and its blessings. At some points in everyone’s life they will have more problems than usual. It is then a true friend will be there to listen and console not shirk and degrade. As I have stated many times – be a friend so you can have a friend. Do not take without giving or degrade and belittle someone’s problems. Instead add to the world and give what someday you may need to receive.

            Rip away the illusions and face who you are. It is not all about you – it is about loving and giving to others and it will return to you.

                        How beautiful it would be to see man wrestle with his illusions and vanquish them."

Naguib Mahfouz

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